Content authoring

Magnolia provides different authoring tools to meet the unique requirements of your project. Give content creators and marketing staff the tools they need for efficient content creation and creative freedom. Give your developers the ability to build templates and editing tools with either front-end skills or with Java. Use the included Pages app, content apps and content editor apps, or provide your own custom authoring tools.

With Magnolia you can establish a single source for your content to eliminate inconsistency and errors. And you can reuse that source of content across your entire brand and digital landscape. Create once, publish everywhere.

Content tools

Magnolia provides several content tools that you can combine and use according to the needs of your project.

Pages app – WYSIWYG

The Pages app is an intuitive WYSIWYG tool where you can edit a page or build an experience from a library of components.

Use the Pages app when you want complete creative freedom for a digital experience, like a landing page or a micro-site. In addition to content creation, the Pages app is commonly used for collecting and curating content from other app types. Editors can see what the finished result will look like while they work on it.

You can configure templates according to your needs. Either create purpose-built page templates with a rigid design for specific purposes such as an event or category page, or create empty pages to give content authors complete freedom while still providing a standard theme, header and footer.

Content editor apps – optimized inline editing

The Content editor framework facilitates the creation of modern editing apps to give authors control of the content experience. Use Content editor apps for rich, future-proof, reusable content like news, product information, blogging, content marketing and so on.

Content editor apps combine the efficiency and structure of form-based editing with the freedom and flexibility of a page editor. Authors can build their stories with the content blocks they want: images, text, video, interactive features, links to other content items and so on.

The Stories app provides an example of how you can implement Magnolia’s content editor framework. Customize the app to suit your needs or use it as a blueprint to create your own custom content editor app.

Content apps – form-based editing for structured content

Content apps are used for types of content that have a fixed, predictable structure. Use them for things like categories, simple products, events, or anything that you could store in a spreadsheet or database table. Developers can configure which fields are present in the editor.

Content apps can also display external content, such as products in a third party e-commerce system, leads from a CRM, or other items from existing in-house enterprise systems. This allows you to create holistic experiences combining all of your relevant content.

Customisability and integration is the hallmark of Magnolia: developers can adapt any of these tools to meet your needs or you can build your own custom authoring tool.

Use case

A travel company sells packaged tours online. They use two Content apps:

  • Tours app – to manage the information for all of the tours that they provide.

  • Tour Categories app – to manage the taxonomy of their tours (the destinations and the types of tours that they offer).

For their content marketing, they use a Content editor app called Stories to manage the rich content for a magazine. The magazine articles mix text, images and video, and teasers for the products (the tours) that relate to the travel story.

They also use the Pages app to manage the overall structure of the website and to provide the content for a few specialty pages.

See our Demo to explore this use case.

Single source and content reuse

It is common practice to establish a single source for your content to eliminate inconsistency and errors and to provide a consistent brand across your channels. You can then change your content in a single location and see the change reflected everywhere else it is used. Create once, publish everywhere.

To implement a single source approach in Magnolia, we recommend you:

  • Move your content into content apps and content editor apps.

  • Move your digital assets into Magnolia’s DAM or into your own DAM.

  • If you have other external content repositories that you want to continue using in parallel to Magnolia, then expose that external content in Magnolia apps, so that you can create experiences which combine content from all sources.

  • Pull your content out of Magnolia and into any of your channels using REST or Magnolia’s template-based rendering.

Linking content

Any content item can link to other content items. For example:

  • A tour can link to an image asset in the DAM.

  • A story can link to the tours mentioned in the story.

  • A component on a page can link to another page. The page then displays a teaser of the linked page, pulling the title and image from the linked page.

If you want to reuse almost identical content, Magnolia also allows you to override just a piece of the content that you are linking to. For example, you could link to another page and get its title automatically but override the image from the linked page to use another image that is more relevant to the context.

If you know you want to use content in more than one place on your website, move it to a content app. Then the website pages can reuse that content by linking to it.

Automatically listing content

Content can be reused automatically by template scripts or other code. For example:

  • A news overview page template can build a list of news items that were updated most recently, displaying information from each news item.

  • A tour page template can list similar tours at the bottom via code that finds similarly tagged tours.

To see this in action, go to our public demo: https://demopublic.magnolia-cms.com/tour-typeactive.html[https://demopublic.magnolia-cms.com/tour-typeactive.html]. The Tours category page (here, active tours) lists all tour items marked as featured in the Featured section at the top, as well as a longer list of all tours marked with this category below.

Future-proof your content

By separating content management from content presentation, Magnolia ensures that your content is future-proof. This means that the content that you use for your website today, can be used on other channels that continue to emerge, such as new social and device-based channels, chatbots, voice-based interfaces and AR/VR environments.

For future-proof content, use Content apps and Content editor apps, as they store content in a clean, presentation-independent format.

Create digital experiences based on this content, for example:

  • Marketing teams and content authors can use the Pages app to curate and organize this content and to generate a responsive website for desktops and mobile devices.

  • Headless: Developers can use Magnolia’s flexible REST delivery endpoint to get content from Magnolia for use in other channels, such as native mobile apps.

Headless and content authoring

Headless CMS is a modern popular approach to content management where the CMS does not produce a website, it just serves content via REST. This has benefits, including those described above for future-proof content. In a pure headless approach, authors only enter raw content, and developers build the presentation, such as a Javascript-based app or native app. The trade-off is that authors and non-developers lose the ability to control and shape the whole experience.

Magnolia supports several headless approaches - each with their advantages and disadvantages:

See Headless Integration for more details.
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